Is Nigeria Ready for Change?


Aliyu Ahmed



Nigeria has always been a country hanging by a thread, balanced on a needle and always on the edge. Nigerians for so long have wallowed in a state of uncertainty and misery. Nigeria was well on a path to a suicidal self destruction, we were in dire need of some kind of fairy tail romance before we finally imploded to oblivion. Buhari in his second coming drove us madly in love when he promised us ‘CHANGE!’. The promise of change resonated with every Nigerian. People from every state, city and village flocked en-masse and voted for change. The divine message has been heard and Nigerians were finally ready for a euphoric beginning with Buhari.


The biggest questions before 2015 were; where is our 20 billion dollars? Where are the Chibok girls? When will Boko Haram be stopped? Etc. These question were directed at Jonathan's government. By now, we must’ve already known the answers to these questions. But the questions that we should all be asking should not be directed to any government but to ourselves. Is Nigeria ready for change?


Buhari’s one year plus in office has unearthed a behemoth of sin from both Jonathan's administration and every day Nigerians. Nigerians have proven to be knuckle-headed, impatient, unreasonable and ignorant. The number one threat facing Nigeria before Buhari took over was the security threat of Boko Haram. We used to die by the thousands, millions of our countrymen were made homeless and internally displaced. A simple task of going to the market, place of worship or school became a daunting leap of faith from which one may not return from. One cannot argue that the threat of Boko Haram is almost non existent today. Boko haram can no longer wage war with weapons, they can only wage war with words. The mighty Boko Haram has been reduced from making bombs to making videos. If this isn’t change, then what is? Is Nigeria really ready for change?


Sadly, Nigeria is synonymous with corruption. In fact, Nigeria is fantastically corrupt as David Cameron remarked to the queen of England. The mother of all corruption was grandiose and nothing short of an abracadabra. It came to be known as the biggest hoodwink in the history of Nigeria, twenty billion dollars majestically disappeared from the treasury. The revelations made by Sanusi and the questions that were eventually asked made Nigerians yearn for change. Nigerians ever so eager for change demanded for a crusade against all forms of corruption. As a result, Buhari gave them Dasuki’s head and set a strong tone against corruption. Many others guilty of corruption were prosecuted one after the other. And now, Nigerians seem to be singing a different song, they have accused Buhari of witch-hunting. Some went as far as telling Buhari to bring back corruption. Things like this makes one wonder if Nigeria is really ready for change?


Fast forward to 2016, Nigerians yet again impatiently demanded for the approval of the 2016 budget. Buhari’s slow progress with the approval of the budget even earned him a nickname ‘Baba Go Slow’. Reasons for the late approval of the budget were also coined on very laughable Myths that claimed the budget was either missing or stolen. The budget saga was taken to new heights when the budget padding scandal came to life. We have learned from Hon. Abdulmumin Jibril that the budget was initially padded with the knowledge of the not-so Honorable Speaker Yakubu Dogara. Nigerians who were really ready for change endorsed Abdulmumin just like they did Sanusi. If you connect all the dots, you will discover that Buhari only delayed the approval of the 2016 budget because he sensed foul play from the House of Assembly. And yet Nigerians were silent. Abdulmumin was suspended by his fraudulent colleague’s and Nigerians are still silent, perhaps 'budget padding' is truly not a word as Dogara told Channels TV reporters. The only thing that Nigerians were really loud about in recent times was Buhari’s plagiarized speech. Is Nigeria really ready for change?


Nigeria is an unfinished book of many chapters. I find it impossible to discuss about all that needs to discussed in this intended short piece. This piece is not written as an endorsement of Buhari but an endorsement of our conscience as Nigerians. Our gallantly fought battle in 2015 earned us a ‘Change’ from the status quo; a status quo that endorsed corruption and insecurity. There used to be a time in Nigeria not so long ago when people did not have the luxury to worry about the economy, instead they worried about their very lives. The second coming of Buhari is a divine one and a test from God, we cannot allow saboteurs like Ben Murray Bruce etc to hijack our common sense revolution. The Niger Delta Avengers, Biafra agitators, Fulani herdsmen, wailing wailers and the House of Assembly are only making efforts to restart the timer to our self destruction therefore making change even harder to achieve. Eduardo Duterte has said “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so beautiful at the end.” Nigerians really need to ponder on the words of Duterte. We need to understand that change is a process, and never an event. After all, change begins with you.